Step One – Powerlessness and unmanageability.
The First Step calls us to ask if the problem is one we are powerless to solve and if its manageability is causing us anxiety, uneasiness, fear, or if it is of such a nature that it has prompted you to “solve” it by returning to your drug of choice …at least to bury it.
Step Two – You’ve fussed with it and found various ways to solve it, but decided you needed help.
We’ve all had serious problems. We’ve tried to work them out. A good start with solving any problem. But a good and right thing to do doesn’t emerge. Our ego may stand in the way of seeking help. You tried to work it out but failed … suddenly it sounds like your self-help reaction to your addiction: “I’ve tried everything but I need help.”
Step Three – You turned to your Higher Power and sought His counsel and courage to carry out His Will.
Let’s be honest. Some problems are beyond us. Others know more about the issue than you. We need to suppress our ego at this point for it’s like our drug of choice … the old “cunning, baffling and powerful” wearing a different set of clothes. It seems to want to break us down and bring us back to the old ways.
Step Four – At this point we need to take a “fearless” inventory of the problem.
Some questions you’ll have: Who did what to whom. What third parties might be involved in any solution? What are the various positions of those involved? What are the possible solutions? Are these possible to bring about? Can some but not all of the facts and issues be resolved? Do you fear surprises? What’s the worst that can happen?
Step Five – Who is morally, ethical or legally responsible for creating, aggravating the mess?
Depending on the depth of your involvement, did you create this mess, or did you aggravate it? Did you see an improper motive in the involvement of others? Do you understand what people’s motives are at this point? Can you identify what folks want out of this mess?
Step Six – Keep looking for your Higher Power’s Will for you in the connection with the mess.
Even if you can’t solve the problem completely, look for guidance from your Higher Power, attendance at meetings, discussions with your sponsor. If appropriate, make certain you consult with “outside” experts and square their counsel with what you are hearing within the Program.
*With humble apologies to Bill W. and Dr. Bob and to the millions who use the Steps to recover from their addiction.
To be continued to June 26th
Jim A. Covington, Kentucky